Something a lot of new archers forget to buy is a case for all your gear. Although this might seem more of a convenience item, it's very important to buy a case. A bow case not only allows you to easily carry all your gear, it also protects it during transport.
It might be quite difficult to choose the right bag when you are just getting started. You simply don’t have the experience to easily choose between all the different options on the market. Therefore, I will explain what you should consider while buying your first bow case.
I will first discuss the difference between compound and recurve bags. In the next section, I explain what you should consider while choosing a bag. I will also recommend some products and give some final tips.
Why you need a case for your bow
It’s important to carry your bow in a bow case because it will protect your bow. The limbs, riser, and string are vulnerable and can get damaged during transport. In some cases, it might only get scratched, but if it gets damaged heavily you might have to replace the entire bow.
A lot of new archers think they can also use a regular bag or duffel bag. But these bags are not optimized for transporting your archery gear. It can probably move around freely in the bag which can cause your gear to get scuffed. These bags also have no padding, so you have to be extremely careful about how you transport your gear.
Therefore, you must buy a good case for your bow. It will give you a lot of peace of mind and is way more convenient. It’s also a better financial decision in the long run. If your bow gets damaged, it can be very expensive to repair or replace.
Compound vs recurve bags
Although it makes sense for experienced archers, a lot of new archers don’t know the difference between a compound and a recurve bag. But it is very important to learn the difference because placing your bow in the wrong bag can cause a lot of issues. Let’s discuss the differences real quick.
A compound bow is generally larger than a recurve bag. Since you don’t disassemble the bow before you place it in the bag, it needs to be a lot larger. Therefore, a compound bag has one large compartment which fits your entire bow. It also has some other compartment which fits your other gear.
A compound case also has extra padding around the cams (the ‘’wheels’’ on the limbs). Since this is the most vulnerable part of the compound bow. Read the article below, if you want to learn more about compound bow cases:
Since you can disassemble your recurve bow, it’s much easier to store it in a smaller case. I always recommend disassembling your recurve bow during transport, because it’s less vulnerable when it’s disassembled.
Most recurve cases have one large pocket which houses your bow. In this large pocket, there is a long and narrow case, which fits both your limbs and your riser. The limbs and riser are kept in separate pockets, which makes sure that they can’t get scratched. Read the article below, if you want to learn more about recurve cases:
A compound bow won’t fit in a recurve bag. And although a recurve bow will fit in most compound cases, it will not provide enough protection. So, make sure that you buy a case that fits your bow!
What you should consider
Below I have listed 5 things you should consider while buying your bag. Let’s discuss these one by one.
Whether it fits your bow
I already discussed that you need a bag that is designed for your bow type (recurve or compound), but it’s also important that it fits your bow dimensions. This often goes wrong with compound bows. A lot of beginners think that compound bows are all similarly sized, but that is not the case.
A compound bow made for hunting is much smaller than a compound bow made for target archery. Therefore, you should measure the length of your bow and check whether the bag is long enough. You can also check the width of your bow, but this isn’t an issue in most cases.
It’s also a good idea to double-check this if you are buying a recurve bow. Some bags are made to only store medium limbs (68 inches, total bow length). A set of long limbs might not fit in these bows. This isn’t the case for most bags, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How well it protects your bow
One of the major differences between a cheap bow case and an expensive bow case is how well it protects your bow. I bought a cheap bow case a few years ago and the padding was very thin. Since it didn’t provide enough protection, I still damaged my bow a bit. Luckily, I bought this case for an inexpensive bow, so it’s not a big deal.
But if you have an expensive bow, it’s worth buying a high-quality bag. More expensive bags not only have more padding but also tend to last a lot longer. The materials of cheaper bags are often inferior and get damaged more easily.
How you can carry it
Bow cases come in different form-factors. These different form-factors can be carried differently:
- Soft case: this case is generally carried like a suitcase or a regular sports/duffel bag. You either use the handles or sling it over your shoulder. This is a great option if you want a cheap option and often carry the bag short distances.
- Backpack: this bag is quite similar to a regular soft case. The biggest difference is that you can also carry it in your bag. This makes a backpack a bit more expensive, but also more versatile. If you need to carry your bow for long distances a backpack is a great option!
- Hardcase: this case closely resembles a suitcase. It has a large outer shell with a special compartment for your bow and gear. These cases can carry a lot of gear and have wheels for easy transportation. Therefore, you can also use this case if you want to fly with your bow. This case is ideal if you want to carry a lot of gear very securely.
How much storage it has
When you are looking for an archery case, you shouldn’t underestimate the amount of gear you have to store. Although you might not have a lot of gear now, you might accumulate a lot more gear in the future.
I for example also carry some tools with me when I go to the archery range. It’s very frustrating if you have to make a small repair while you have left your tools at home. But also, don’t forget that you will also bring some other stuff that isn’t related to archery, such as car keys, wallet, food, drinks, or some extra piece of clothing.
When I bought my first case, I bought one that was too small. Therefore, I always had to carry a secondary bag for all my other gear, which isn’t convenient.
How the arrows are stored
Arrows don’t get easily damaged, so you might think that it doesn’t matter that much how you store them. Although your arrows are indeed very strong, it’s important to always carry them in an arrow tube.
When the arrows are in a pouch, they can easily penetrate your bag. This not only ruins your bag, but it can also be dangerous. So, make sure to either buy a bag with an arrow tube or buy one separately.
Recommended recurve cases
You probably don’t want to spend hours looking through all the different cases and bags. That’s why I have listed down my favorite archery cases, which are the best value for the money. Let’s discuss them one by one.
As you can see below, all these cases are from Legend Archery, a company that specializes in archery cases. I have been a fan of their brand for a long time, so I was happy when they reached out to sponsor this article. If you want to learn more about this brand, make sure to read my in-depth interview with the owner of the company here.
The Legend ProTour is the best backpack you will find for a recurve bow. Although there are cheaper alternatives, they provide less storage and are less comfortable to carry for a long time. A good backpack lasts a lifetime, so it’s definitely worth spending a bit more for the additional space.
What I especially like about this backpack is that it has a ventilating back part, which keeps the bag slightly away from your back. This makes carrying your bow a lot better in the summer. The extra straps also provide some additional support if you have to carry it for long distances.
Legend Atom Recurve Bow Case
If you prefer roller cases, I recommend the Atom Recurve bow case. This case has enough space for two bows and a lot of tools. Therefore, you can bring almost a complete pro shop with you with this case.
It has a lot of compartments both on the inside and outside of the case. It’s also optimized for flying. The hard outer shell will provide enough protection when it’s handled by the airline. You can easily move the bag around with the wheels at the bottom of the case.
If you want a versatile hard case that carries a lot of gear, the Atom Recurve bow case is the best option!
Recommended compound cases
Compound bow cases are generally bigger and thus more expensive than recurve cases. Let me discuss my two top picks if you need a case for your compound bow.
If you want to buy a compound bow backpack, the Legend Superline is a great option. This backpack has a lot of storage and the internal fastening straps keep the bow firmly in place. You don’t want the bow to move around in the backpack and this is something that often happens in cheaper backpacks.
It has two additional storage compartments inside the bag and two external compartments. If you don’t want to wear this backpack on your back, you can always stow away the back straps. Which allows you to use it as a simple soft case.
This makes the Legend Superline, one of the most versatile compound cases. Make sure to check your bow length though. If you have a short compound bow, you might want to check the Legend Crusader instead.
If you prefer a roller case instead, I recommend the Legend Everest. This hard case is similar to the Legend Atom recurve case, but instead for compound bows. This case can carry two full compound bows and a lot of other gear.
Just like the Atom, you can also use this case when you want to fly with your bow. It even has a TSA lock that secures your gear but allows TSA agents to check your case without destroying the zipper.
Therefore, if you want a serious case for your compound bow, the Legend Everest is the best you can get!
Some final tips
To summarize this article, let me quickly repeat my most important tips:
- Don’t underestimate how much you carry to the range: You will carry a lot more stuff than you might think. Apart from your bow, you probably also want to carry some tools, food and some drinks. You can of course carry this in a second bag, but that isn’t ideal. So, when in doubt, buy the bigger bag!
- Measure the size of your bow: Not all bows will fit all cases! So, make sure to measure the dimensions of your bow and compare this to the information listed online.
- Don’t buy the cheapest case available: In most cases, cheaper bags provide less protection or are made of inferior materials. Therefore, a cheap bag can cost a lot more money when you have to replace it or when it didn’t protect your bow.
- Buy from a reputable seller: A lot of Chinese webshops also offer cases for bows. But in my experience, these cases provide less protection and are made of cheap materials. If you buy from a reputable seller, you can always return it, but that is not the case with most Chinese webshops.
More buyer’s guides
Choosing the right archery gear is very important, therefore I have written a lot of buyer’s guides on all kinds of archery equipment. Learn more by clicking on any of the articles below.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or remarks; please leave them in the comment section down below. I would love to help you with any questions or issues you might have. I will send you an email once I replied!